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‘Me You Madness’ is Louise Linton’s stab at whatever’s beyond a vanity project

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Review by Brian Lowry, CNN
Updated 6:51 AM ET, Fri February 12, 2021

(CNN) — As the wife of Trump administration Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Louise Linton seems to understand there’s no separating the art from the artist, so her new movie, “Me You Madness,” doesn’t try. Instead, this whatever’s-beyond-vanity project that she wrote, directed, produced and stars in winks at the camera so often you begin to fear for her eyelids as well as your own.

Instead of pulling away from her image as the Trump era’s poster child for conspicuous consumption, Linton leans into it, in a horror send-up that name-checks “American Psycho” as inspiration, but which mostly resembles an extended perfume commercial or music video, possessing roughly as much substance.
Alas, there’s not enough pleasure in the viewing to call it guilty, exactly, but the movie does conjure a strange sense of fascination in terms of the media-political nexus it unavoidably occupies.
The darkly comic, psycho-sexual thriller seemingly devotes most of its budget to two things: Licensing songs from the 1980s, and acquiring lavish wardrobe options for its central character.
    Linton’s Catherine Black spends the movie talking directly to the audience, describing herself as a hedge-fund manager with a long list of addictions, among them “indescribable violence.” By way of introduction, she discusses how male spiders risk death in order to mate, then promptly tosses a rather large eight-legged critter into her mouth and eats it, offering a not-so-subtle preview of where this all might be heading.
    Catherine meets a handsome younger fellow, Tyler (“Gossip Girl’s” Ed Westwick), who is actually a thief casing her opulent house. She’s well aware of his plans, and what ensues is a lot of sex, a fair amount of violence, and the likelihood that the two — who somewhat claustrophobically share the screen for most of the movie — will talk each other to death before it’s over.

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    Yes, Catherine has a freezer full of body parts, and occasionally dines on them. But the tension, such as it is, hinges less on “Will they or won’t they?” (they do), but “Will she or won’t she?,” in terms of adding him to her culinary collection.
    It’s designed to be ridiculous, which, unfortunately, isn’t the magic talisman that Linton seems to think (or hope) it is in terms of warding off criticism. Satirizing this genre requires more finesse than the movie brings to it, and setting the aforementioned violence or a threesome to music isn’t daring, but simply dull.
    Beyond modeling a dizzying assortment of outlets, Linton appears determined to prove that she has watched a lot of movies, occasionally running a scroll of relevant titles down the side of the screen.
    “I was not born with money, so I learned its value early on,” Catherine says, explaining the character’s infatuation with possessions — perhaps her least objectionable excess. Given the fallout from Linton’s 2017 pose with sheets of cash and her subsequent apologies, that dialogue almost sounds like the character is speaking for her alter ego.
    As the New York Times reported, the movie was actually shot not too long after that much-dissected episode, so the timing of its release looks calculated to capitalize on Linton and Mnuchin’s notoriety. Their connection to the Trump administration virtually ensures even negative reviews will gin up publicity and can easily be dismissed as axe grinding by the liberal media.
    The none-too-bright Tyler, for one, generally sounds as confused as the audience is likely to be. “I can’t tell if you’re being funny,” he tells Catherine not long after they meet.
      “Me You Madness” serves as a reminder that you can clearly try to be funny, and still produce something that turns out to be kind of a joke.
      “Me You Madness” is available on demand beginning Feb. 12.

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      The third ‘Spider-Man’ film finally has a title

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      By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
      Updated 6:49 PM ET, Wed February 24, 2021

      (CNN) — Until Wednesday, rumors about the title of the third Spider-Man film have been a web of lies. But the truth has been revealed.

      Tom Holland will swing into theaters in December in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” Sony and Marvel have confirmed.
      The film will be the third installment of the Holland-led franchise that has also included “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”
      Director Jon Watts, who directed the first two, returns for this film.
        Earlier this week, cast members Holland, Zendaya and Jacob Batalon presented a series of fake titles (like “Spider-Man: Home Slice” and “Spider-Man: Phone Home”) on social media, drumming up speculation that the official title would soon be revealed.
        The film is set to be released December 17, 2021.

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        DWI charges dropped against Bruce Springsteen, who pleads guilty to just drinking in the park

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        By Evan Simko-Bednarski, CNN
        Updated 12:54 PM ET, Wed February 24, 2021

        (CNN) — Bruce Springsteen pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges he imbibed alcohol at New Jersey’s Sandy Hook National Recreation Area, despite knowing it was prohibited.

        “I had two small shots of Tequila,” Springsteen said in a virtual appearance before New Jersey Federal Court.
        The plea came after federal prosecutors agreed to drop charges that Springsteen was operating a vehicle under the influence and driving recklessly, charges Assistant US Attorney Adam Baker said the government would not be able to prove.
        “The evidence we reviewed indicates that after the defendant’s arrest, he submitted to a breath test at the ranger station, and his BAC reading was .02, which as the court is aware is well under the legal limit of .08,” Baker said.
          Noting that the prohibition on alcoholic drinks at Sandy Hook was two years old, and noting Springsteen’s otherwise clean criminal record, Judge Anthony Mautone sentenced The Boss to pay a $500 fine plus $40 in court fees.
          While Springsteen has often sung about driving “suicide machines” down the New Jersey Turnpike, bragged of having his “carburetor, baby, cleaned and checked — with her lines blown out she’s running like a turbo jet,” and sang of being “sprung from cages on Highway 9 — chrome wheeled, fuel injected, and stepping out over the line,” Mautone remarked on the singer’s clean driving record.
          “I have in front of me the driver’s abstract of this defendant, going all the way back to 1973,” Mautone said. “There’s three violations in the whole abstract. In fact, two of them aren’t even violations and the third one is use of a hand-held cell device. Rarely would you see a driver’s abstract so devoid of any entries as I see before me, Mr. Springsteen.”
          Springsteen was arrested at Gateway National Recreation Area on November 14 and charged with DWI, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area, according to a spokesperson for the National Park Service.
          That night, a source close to the singer said earlier this month, Springsteen took a shot of alcohol with fans in the park after taking a photo with them. The source added that Springsteen is known to take photographs with fans. “That’s typical Bruce,” the source said.
          One officer said they observed Springsteen “consume a shot of Patron tequila and then get on his motorcycle and start the engine,” according to a probable cause statement obtained by CNN.
          Springsteen told the officer he had consumed two shots of tequila in the previous 20 minutes, according to the probable cause statement.
          “SPRINGSTEEN smelt strongly of alcohol coming off his person and had glassy eyes,” the officer said in the statement, adding he “was visibly swaying back and forth while I observed his eyes.”
            Springsteen, according to the officer, took 45 steps during the “walk and turn” test “instead of the instructed 18.”
            Prior to the screening, the officer said he approached Springsteen and informed him alcohol was prohibited in the park and asked whether Springsteen was leaving, to which “he confirmed he was going to drive out of the park,” the statement said.

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            BTS covers Coldplay and more on MTV Unplugged debut

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            By Chloe Melas, CNN
            Updated 10:15 AM ET, Wed February 24, 2021

            (CNN) — BTS made their debut on MTV’s Unplugged Tuesday night and played some of their greatest hits.

            The international K-pop sensation, which is comprised of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook, performed “Telepathy” for the first time live, along with “Blue & Grey” during Tuesday night’s broadcast. BTS, which stands for Beyond The Scene, broadcast live from Seoul, South Korea.

            The group recently told CNN that they felt they needed to give their audience new music amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
            “If everything went according to plan, we’d be on tour right now, but the pandemic has changed everything,” Suga said. “So we thought about what we can do, and what we can do best at this point, in this situation. Everyone is going through such a difficult time, so we wanted to cheer them up.”

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            Taylor Swift’s re-recorded ‘Love Story’ is back on top of the charts

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            By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
            Updated 9:08 PM ET, Mon February 22, 2021

            (CNN) — Taylor Swift’s re-recording of “Love Story” is now a success story.

            “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” debuted at No. 1 on this week’s Hot Country Songs chart, according to Billboard.
            The song is shockingly Swift’s first No. 1 debut on that chart. It is also her 8th career No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, the last one being 2012’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
            “Love Story” was originally on Swift’s album “Fearless,” which was released in 2008. Swift has been hard at work re-recording that album after losing the rights to her master recordings predating 2019’s “Lover” after they were sold to a company owned by music manager Scooter Braun. (Braun’s company sold them in late 2020.)
              Swift’s re-recording — titled “Fearless (Taylor’s version)” — will be released April 9.

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              Mandy Moore welcomes baby boy with husband Taylor Goldsmith

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              By Marianne Garvey, CNN
              Updated 6:19 PM ET, Tue February 23, 2021

              (CNN) — Mandy Moore has welcomed her first child.

              The “This Is Us” actress took to Instagram on Tuesday to announce that she and her husband Taylor Goldsmith, lead singer of the folk rock band Dawes, are now parents to a baby boy.
              “Gus is here,” Moore captioned a picture of the baby in an adorable blue onesie. “Our sweet boy, August Harrison Goldsmith. He was punctual and arrived right on his due date, much to the delight of his parents. We were prepared to fall in love in all sorts of brand new ways, but it goes beyond anything we could have ever imagined. M + T.”
              In January, Moore told Romper that she had high expectations for her child.
                “I want to raise an intelligent, feminist, loving, compassionate young man, who respects women, and who understands boundaries,” she told the publication.
                  Moore also sang her husband’s praises, saying he was born to be a dad.
                  “I think he’s been suited to be a father pretty much his whole life,” she said. “He’s been gearing up for this. Like in the morning, it’s funny, I’ll reach for my phone and he’ll reach right for whatever baby book he’s reading.”

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